Welcome to meal planning 101 an introduction to meal planning. This post will detail all of the tools you will need to get started and some helpful tips on staying motivated to meal plan.
Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist, these are just the things and recipes that my family enjoys.
I NEVER used to meal plan, heck I didn’t even really know what that meant. Don’t you just go to the grocery store whenever you want and get what you need? (Single me sees nothing wrong with this approach). NOPE, not anymore I go to the grocery store once a week now and the warehouse store two times per month. So I need a game plan when I go (kid and hubs in tow) so that we can get out as quickly as possible. When I first started meal planning I bit off way more than I could chew and did once a month meal planning and prep. My thinking was that I would only have to cook and prep for 1 day per month. NOPE NOPE NOPE this style of meal planning is just not for me. It was so overwhelming!! I would get home from the grocery store, where I felt like I had spent WAY too much (since it was for a whole month) put it all away and be so intimidated by the sheer volume of things to do. Plus the thought of cooking all day for an entire day just was not appealing. So I ditched that and went to this style of meal planning instead. It has worked well for us and I hope it works for you!
OK enough of the boring stories Heather…here is what you need to get started
1.Recipes (thank you Pinterest)
2.Crock Pot (My kitchen BFF)
3. Storage containers, I like these ones
4. Meal planning worksheet (optional but helpful)
Check at the bottom of this post for a free meal planning printable.
For the purposes of these posts the meal plans that I publish will be for me for all meals and snacks. Dinner will be a shared meal for the family. Again this is what works for us.
The format that I use for meals is as follows:
To start I find 2-3 recipes for dinners that the fam will enjoy. I write them in first spaced a day or so apart.
Next are lunches, for some reason this is the hardest meal for me to plan. I usually pick one dish and have it most of the week. For example sandwiches, I will have them all week but mix it up with toppings and dressings. Again – Nothing complicated.
I have a very short list of things that I like for breakfast so that one is easiest for me.
Snacks are generally a piece of fruit or a health bar. I will get into specifics in future posts. This is just the general format for my meals.
How to stay motivated!!!
Please enjoy this free printable to start your own meal plan…this is an ongoing series and actual meal plans with recipes and grocery lists will be posted in the next post. If you fill them out don’t forget to share them or tag me in them on social media.
What are some of your favorite recipes? Leave a comment with how often you go to the grocery store.